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Can I cross the U.S.-Canada border for a blood test?

FILE - In this April 28, 2015 file photo, a patient has her blood drawn for a liquid biopsy during an appointment at a hospital in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma, File)
Summary

U.S. Customs and Border Protection considers "medical purposes" and essential reason for travel

Documentation proving reason for travel recommended for Canadians entering the U.S.

All travellers returning to Canada must self isolate for 14 days

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Question:

Candy: “I have had [three cancer] surgeries since 2014. If I have a letter from my oncologist, could I cross the border at Peace Arch and go to a lab in Bellingham that does a specific blood test that Canada does not offer? I would go from my home directly to the lab (with mask and gloves), have the blood test and return directly to my home in West Vancouver and isolate for the required 14 days.”

Answer:

Candy will likely be allowed to cross the border.

The border between the U.S. and Canada remains closed to all non-essential travel, but the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) considers travelling for “medical purposes” essential.

The agency advises travellers to bring documentation proving their stated reason for crossing the border. So it’s probably a good idea for Candy to bring the letter from her doctor and other paperwork related to her blood test in the U.S.

While the guidelines do allow for Canadians to enter the U.S. for medical treatment, it’s ultimately up to individual CBP agents to decide whether someone is allowed to enter the country.

Like everyone entering Canada, she will also need to provide a self-isolation plan when she is returning to Canada to show she plans to stay at home for 14 days after her trip.

The travel restrictions on the U.S.-Canada border are set to expire on July 21, but could be extended further.

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